The Nikon D5300 offers a semi-pro spec with 24.2MP resolution, tilting LCD and Wi-Fi in the body of an entry-level camera, but is it worth your cash?
Nikon D5300 review
Recent Nikon DSLR releases have all been high-end and full frame, most notably the D610 and Nikon Df. But the Nikon D5300, updating yet not immediately replacing the Nikon D5200, shows that the manufacturer hasn't given up on the sub-£1,000 consumer market. And sensibly so, as industry figures suggest its entry-level Nikon D3100 was the best selling DSLR of 2013.
Like that camera, the higher 24.2 megapixel resolution D5300 is your regular APS-C sensor model. Its chip's physical dimensions are smaller than the 35mm film frame equivalent of the pricier Df and D610 models, but APS-C is standard fare at its price.
The D5300 is being aimed at the 'advanced beginner' according to Nikon, a class of consumers that sounds kinda mutually exclusive. Suggested cost is a high-ish £729.99 body only, or £829.99 if twinning the camera with a standard 18-55mm zoom lens, which any beginner would surely want, no matter how advanced.
Unusually for Nikon, as well as regulation issue black, the D5300's body is being offered in red or, our favourite, gun metal grey. However the single shell plastic construction - which Nikon claims has reduced overall weight - and finish does conspire to make it look like a shiny toy, which we can't say we're overly thrilled about.
But at least it stops the camera from looking overly serious and complicated to newcomers at first glance.
New this time around is the fact that the D5300 is Nikon's first DSLR to feature built-in Wi-Fi, complete with a dedicated 'i' button to select pictures for upload.
In terms of core photography, ISO range can be boosted from ISO12800 to ISO25600 for near see-in-the-dark performance and, of course, here we also get 1920x1080 pixels video with the benefit of stereo microphones located just in front of the camera's hotshoe. These are neatly tucked behind the pop up flash.
While this all sounds mostly positive, is the D5300 truly a camera worth spending £700 to £800 on, especially when a typical entry-level APS-C sensor DSLR, such as the Nikon D3200 or D3100, would cost you £500 or under?